Yesterday I returned from the week-long technology festival known as Campus Party. This year the European version of the festival was organised by Telefonica and O2 and was based in the O2 Arena in London. I was camping in the London Soccer Dome with thousands of Europeans, who were primarily Spanish, German, Czech and Slovak, with smaller numbers of people from other countries.
Every day there were talks on 8 themed stages in the O2 Arena from 10am – 10pm. Each stage had a sort of area of technology; for example, the Galileo Stage was to do with robotics and astronomy, whereas the Pythagoras Stage was for talks by developers. The main stage was for entrepreneurs and the keynote speakers, such as Vint Cerf, one of the ‘fathers of the internet’. I spent most of my time at the Michelangelo Stage which had people talking about technologies and creativity, such as art, music, photography and film.
The other Campus party area had 24 hour access to campers and it contained our ‘work-stations’ where you could plug into the power and the internet, workshop spaces, a gaming area and also company areas such as Microsoft, Telefonica and Enternships who had people to talk to, activities to do and technology to try. Of course, the extra staff and workshops were not running throughout the night and most people didn’t take so much advantage of the work-stations; we were outside drinking beer from Tesco Express and socialising with the other Campuseros. It was a great chance to meet people from different backgrounds, cultures and a chance to practise my Spanish and German.
Overall, it was an event with so much going on in so many areas that people with any interest in technology and innovation would find plenty that interested them; I would definitely recommend it, especially for only £50 in total for travel (from another country), accommodation (free tent!) and all festival content.
I heard a rumour that next year’s European Campus Party will be in the Netherlands… but all I do know is that the Campus Party festivals are happening more and more all around the world.